Burghley 2017: Reigning champion Christopher Burton will not defend title…

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Reigning Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials champion Christopher Burton will not be attempting to defend his title after being withdrawn from years event, which takes place between August 31 and September 3.

Nobilis 18, who was ridden to victory by the Australian last year, has only been seen in competition twice after winning the famous four-star event last autumn. The first event was at Farley Hall Horse Trials in Berkshire in June, where the pair jumped a slow double clear in the open intermediate class. The second was the CICO3* at Aachen, where the pair jumped a speedy double clear for an eventual sixth placed finish.

The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials 03 09 2016
No Burghley title defence for Christopher Burton and Nobilis 18

Burton, who competed as part of the bronze medal-winning Australian team at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and finished in fifth place individually, led last year’s competition throughout but cut it fine, needing all four of his fences in hand in the showjumping phase to finish on 49.4 penalties, ahead of New Zealand’s pairing of Andrew Nicholson and Nereo (53.20).

Burton was unavailable for comment on the horse’s withdrawal.

Another high profile pairing to be withdrawn in the build up to the prestigious event is France’s Maxime Livio and his mount Qalao Des Mers, who would have been a real contender for this year’s title on the back of his recent form at four-star level.

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Pau winners Maxime Livio and Qalao Des Mers will not contest Burghley this year

Notable results for the 13-year-old Selle Francais include a second place at Rolex Kentucky this spring, a win in the four-star event at Pau last October and another second place – this time in the four-star event at Luhmulen in June 2016.

Other notable entries this year…
The withdrawls of Burton and Livio now mean that there are 73 remaining combinations entered for this year’s Burghley, including 2015 winner Michael Jung and his horse La Biosthetique-Sam FBW.

New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson will again take to the Burghley track. His possible rides this year include Badminton winner Nereo as well as Teseo and Qwanza, although one horse will likely be withdrawn prior to the event.

Notable British entries for the 2017 event include European team gold medalist Tina Cook with Star Witness and Calvino, and her team-mate Oliver Townend who has Samuel Thomas II, Ballaghmor Class and Cooley SRS entered, although it is likely that the latter horse will be withdrawn as he competed at the European Championships in Strzegom last week.

 

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Strzegom 2017: Great Britain clinch team gold, individual bronze at European Eventing Championships…

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Great Britain won their first European Eventing Championships team gold since 2009 in Strzegom, Poland on Sunday (August 20).

The team, made up of Oliver Townend, Tina Cook, Rosalind Canter and Nicola Wilson, scored 113.9 total penalties to take the title. Germany finished in second place with 123.0 penalties, while Sweden took bronze with a team score of 148.4.

Germany had been in the gold medal position after the culmination of the dressage phase on Friday, but an impressive performance across the country by Great Britain saw them lead going into the showjumping phase.

Wilson, Cook and Canter all went clear in Sunday’s final phase to secure the first European gold medal for Great Britain since the 2009 championships in Fontainebleau, France.

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Final podium (l-r): Germany, Great Britain and Sweden

Britain also secured an individual bronze medal through Wilson and her horse Bulana. German riders Ingrid Klimke and Michael Jung took gold and silver respectively.

Cook finished fourth individually, with Canter in fifth and individual rider Gemma Tattersall down in eighth place. Oliver Townend withdrew his mount Cooley SRS before the showjumping phase after it was reported that the horse suffered ‘a minor injury’.

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GB rider Oliver Townend withdrew his mount Cooley SRS before the final horse inspection

The win also meant a great start for new performance coach Chris Bartle after the Yorkshireman left his role with Team Germany, where he masterminded Olympic, World and European gold medal successes, earlier this year.

Individual positions (after showjumping)..
1 Ingrid Klimke (GER) (Horseware Hale Bob OLD) 30.30,
2 Michael Jung (GER) (FischerRocana FST) 32.80,
3 Nicola Wilson (GB) (Bulana) 35.50,
4 Kristina Cook (GB) (Billy The Red) 38.20,
Ros Canter (GB) (Allstar B) 40.20,
Kai Ruder (GER) (Colani Sunrise) 40.30,
Sarah Ennis (IRE) (Horseware Stellor Rebound) 43.40,
Gemma Tattersall (GB) (Quicklook V) 44.70,
Sara Algotsson Ostholt (SWE) (Reality 39) 47.0,
10 Thibaut Vallette (FRA) (Qing du Briot ENE HN) 57.70

Overall team standings (after showjumping)…
1
 Great Britain 113.90
2 Germany 123.0
3 Sweden 148.40
4 Italy 211.80
5 Ireland 269.20
6 Belgium 286.30
7 Spain 290.10
Switzerland 324,10
9 Poland 408.80
10 Belarus 425.50

Equestrian: David Somerset, 11th Duke of Beaufort, dies…

David Somerset 11th Duke Of Beaufort David Robert Somerset 11th Duke Of Beaufort (born 23 February 1928) Known As David Somerset Until 1984 Is A British Peer. He Is The Son Of Henry Robert Somers Fitzroy De Vere Somerset And Bettine Violet Malcolm An
David Somerset, the 11th Duke of Beaufort, who has died at the age of 89

David Somerset, the 11th Duke of Beaufort, died peacefully at his home at Badminton yesterday (August 16). He was 89.

The duke, who inherited the title from his cousin in 1984, played a significant part in both eventing and hunting.

He was an excellent horseman, finishing second at the Badminton Horse Trials – the event founded by the 10th Duke in 1949 and held in the grounds ever since – in 1959 when riding Countryman III. He was also a keen hunting man.

As such, he joined the mastership of the family pack of hounds, the Duke of Beaufort’s, in 1974 and continued to be joint master until his death.

He leaves behind his second wife Miranda Morley who, as Miranda Beaufort, has competed to a high level in dressage, and four children. He married Morley in 2000 following the death of his first wife Lady caroline Thynne, who helped him to restore and maintain both the estate, Badminton House and its gardens.

Eventing: ‘Horse of a lifetime’ Toytown put down, aged 25…

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‘Horse of a lifetime!’: Toytown in action with Zara Tindall

Zara Tindall’s ‘horse of a lifetime’ Toytown has been put down at the age of 25 for medical reasons.

Under Tindall, Toytown won individual European eventing gold in 2005 and world gold in 2006, before he was retired from competition in 2011.

In a statement, the Queen’s grand-daughter said: ‘I’m heartbroken that I had to say goodbye to my greatest friend and horse of a lifetime, Toytown. He was the most incredible athlete with the biggest heart.

‘He made my career and I couldn’t be more grateful to him for the amazing times we had together. I will miss you forever.’

Tindall bought Toytown as a seven-year-old in 1999. Injuries to the horse prevented them from competing at the Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008.

However, the pair won both the European individual and team gold in 2005. That was followed by world individual gold and team silver the following year and European team gold in 2007.

Paying his own tribute to Toytown on Twitter, Zara’s husband Mike Tindall said:

Eventing: Andrew Nicholson wins first ever Badminton title…

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New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson aboard Nereo at Badminton in 2015. He won his first title earlier today

It has taken 37 attempts but New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson finally has his first Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials title!

Nicholson’s debut win, at one of eventing’s most prestigious 4* competitions, comes just two years after the 55-year-old suffered a serious neck injury in a fall. He first competed in the event in 1984.

Sitting third overnight after yesterday’s tricky cross country phase, Nicholson, who was riding the 17-year-old Nereo, jumped clear incurring only one time fault – but that was enough to seal victory.

German rider Michael Jung, who had won the Kentucky three-day-event just a week earlier and was riding La Biosthetique Sam FBW, had a fence down for second place, finishing just 2.6 penalties behind Andrew.

Overnight leaders Ingrid Klimke and Horseware Hale Bob OLD had a nightmare on course, with three fences down, a stop and seven time faults, meaning the win was handed to the New Zealander and a ninth place overall finish for Klimke.

Klimke had been bidding to become the first female rider to win Badminton since Australian rider Lucinda Fredericks in 2007.

Nicholson’s fellow compatriot Tim Price finished in third place, after picking up a total of 49.2 penalties aboard Xavier Faer.

Best of the British contingent was Rosalind Canter, who finished in fifth place after a clear round in the final phase, riding her own and Caroline Moore’s 11-year-old Allstar B.

Gemma Tattersall jumped a massive 60 places after jumping a double clear on former racehorse Arctic Soul. She had finished 67th after the dressage phase.

Seasoned campaigner Tina Cook finished 10th with one of two young horses, Billy the Red, while another Kiwi, Sir Mark Todd finished in fourth and sixth with NZB Campino and Leonidas II respectively.

Japanese rider Yoshiaki Oiwa finished in eighth with 62.2 penalties aboard The Duke of Cavan – the highest ever finish for a Japanese rider at Badminton.

Looking to the future, British rider Tom McEwen and his 10-year-old horse Toledo De Kerser, which he co-owns with Jane Inns and Ali McEwen, finished just outside the top 10 in 11th place.

Final standings (top 10)…
1. Andrew Nicholson (NZ) (Nereo) 41.4 pens
2. Michael Jung (Germany) (La Biosthetique Sam FBW) 44
3. Tim Price (NZ) (Xavier Faer) 49.2
4. Mark Todd (NZ) (NZB Campino) 50.4
5. Rosalind Canter (GB) (Allstar B) 54.5
6. Mark Todd (NZ) (Leonidas II) 58.1
7. Gemma Tattersall (GB) (Arctic Soul) 60.2
8. Yoshiaki Oiwa (Japan) (The Duke of Cavan) 62.2
9. Ingrid Klimke (Germany) (Horseware Hale Bob) 62.6
10. Kristina Cook (GB) (Billy the Red) 63.4

 New Zealand’s Andrew Nicholson speaks to Horse & Country TV following his first ever Badminton Horse Trials title (Video courtesy of H&C Youtube channel)